As we witness the invasion and takeover of Crimea by Russia’s Putin, and amid the destruction being wreaked by Obamacare, one particular quote keeps coming back to me like an annoying song refrain that I can’t seem to shake.
It’s from the 2010 book The Bridge written by New Yorker editor David Remnick, and was uttered by Barack Obama’s most loyal and trusted counsel, Valerie Jarrett:
“I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. . . . He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is.
And he knows that he has the ability — the extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. . . .
So what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy. . . . He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”
As vapid as those words sounded then, they qualify as positively imbecilic today.
— “…a good reader of people…“? You mean, like he was able to “read” Putin and have him figured out so thoroughly that we just had our rear-end handed to us, again, by Russia?
— “…bored to death his whole life…“? Hmmm, perhaps if he spent more time doing his primary job and less time either campaigning, vacationing, or playing golf, he’d be a tad less “bored”. Come to think of it, it’s pretty tough to marry the “bored” description to the fact that he’s almost completely ignorant of everything in his own Administration.
That’s not being “bored”: I’d label that blindingly incompetent.
Taken in its entirety, Jarrett’s quote is little more than an over-the-top ego stroke, the sort given to a child who doubts himself and needs to be constantly reassured of his abilities, à la Stuart Smalley.
And most importantly of all, for a man Barack’s age to have floated through life allegedly without ever having “…been challenged intellectually…” is not the hallmark of an advanced intellect. Quite the contrary, it’s a sign of someone who is, at his core, alarmingly lazy and insecure.
People who truly want to learn, people who want to challenge their own knowledge, surround themselves with folks vastly smarter than themselves in every arena. That is the exact opposite of this man, and he admitted as much back in 2006:
“I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Obama told him. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
THIS is not someone confident of their own intellect: this is someone reliant on self-puffery and the approbation of others to insulate himself from the actual, terrible truth.
The current occupant of the Oval Office is a man who does have considerable talents: as a campaigner, a rabble-rouser and demagogue. Too bad those abilities only allowed him to secure his current office, yet left him wholly unqualified to perform its actual duties.